UAA receives $46M from Department of Homeland Security to lead Arctic homeland security

by Green & Gold News  |   

a group of students handling tools in the arctic
UAA students in the 2023 Arctic Summer Internship Program in Utqiaġvik support and gain hands-on learning experience from researchers studying the Arctic. (Photo courtesy of the Arctic Domain Awareness Center)

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) anticipates funding  the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) $46 million over the next ten years to lead a consortium of U.S. academic institutions and partners for the newly established Arctic Domain Awareness Center (ADAC)-ARCTIC Center of Excellence (COE) for Homeland Security in the Arctic.

Helming the center’s operations are UAA’s principal investigator, Jeffrey Libby, director of Applied Environmental Research Center in UAA’s Business Enterprise Institute, alongside Heather Paulsen,  Office of Research director of Research Operations, who will serve as the center’s director of finance operations and executive director Leanne Lusk, Capt., US Coast Guard (Ret). ADAC-ARCTIC COE will serve as a nationally recognized group of strategic managers, researchers, subject matter experts, and educators conducting and  guiding cutting-edge research benefiting national security forces living and working in the American and global Arctic.

“The ADAC-ARCTIC COE will affect major DHS mission priorities by focusing on critical research needed to prepare for and implement effective responses to challenges facing the Arctic domain,” said Dr. Dimitri Kusnezov, DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology in a DHS S&T press release. “The Arctic’s dynamic ecosystem has proven to be an extraordinary challenge, and DHS is fortunate to leverage the expertise of academia to meet operational requirements.”

Initial projects proposed for ADAC-ARCTIC COE include detecting distress mariner calls, researching renewable and nuclear energy and arctic power solutions and developing environmental models and decision tools. Additionally, UAA is excited to offer new and existing academic programs through an interdisciplinary Arctic Security graduate degree and an ADAC-ARCTIC student fellowship program and continue to offer the highly competitive Arctic Summer Internship Program. Additionally, ADAC-ARCTIC will offer expanded community engagement and academic opportunities in STEM at federally recognized Minority Serving Institutions nationwide.

“Through the integration of partners and experts with the homeland security enterprise, UAA stands ready to serve our state, nation and the Arctic through the Center of Excellence for Arctic Homeland Security,” said Dr. Aaron Dotson, vice chancellor for research at UAA. 

For additional information, visit the ADAC and DHS COE websites.

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